Immigration Reform

Immigration Reform

A Decade of DACA: Understanding the Program’s Past, Present, and Future

June 15, 2022 marks 10 years since President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Despite litigation and short-lived policy reversals, DACA now provides work authorization and protection from deportation to over 650,000 recipients. Although the program does not provide a pathway to permanent legal status or citizenship, DACA remains one of the most critical immigration programs of the last decade.

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Social Determinants of Immigrants’ Health in New York City: A Study of Six Neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens

More than 3.1 million immigrants reside in New York City, comprising more than a third of the city’s total population. The boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are home to nearly 940,000 and more than 1 million immigrants, respectively. According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) Community Health Survey (CHS), foreign-born New Yorkers have poorer health and less access to healthcare than their US-born counterparts.

For this study, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) focused on six neighborhoods in these two boroughs whose immigrant residents were identified by a previous CMS study, Virgin and Warren (2021), as most at risk of poor health outcomes. The CMS research team conducted a survey of 492 immigrants across these six neighborhoods and convened one focus group to collect data on immigrants’ health and well-being. CMS also surveyed 24 service providers including community health clinics, health-focused community-based organizations, and hospitals that work with immigrants in the studied neighborhoods. Analysis of these data, together with the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the DOHMH’s CHS, provides insight into the factors that affect immigrants’ health and wellbeing across these neighborhoods.

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A Demographic Profile of Undocumented Immigrants from Asia and the Pacific Islands

CMS provides estimates and characteristics of populations who would be eligible for general and population-specific legalization programs and for special legal status programs. According to CMS estimates, there are 1,734,600 undocumented immigrants coming from Asia and the Pacific Islands, comprising 17 percent of the total undocumented population living in the United States. According to CMS estimates, about 65 percent of this population has been living in the United States for less than 10 years. 

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Climbing the Ladder: Roadblocks Faced by Immigrants in the New York City Construction Industry

Economic exploitation and safety hazards are prevalent across the entire construction industry. However, despite the essential role immigrants play in the construction industry in New York City and the United States, immigrant construction workers are especially vulnerable to exploitation and dangerous conditions. Lack of employment authorization, social safety nets, English proficiency, credentials recognition, and training opportunities, as well as discrimination place immigrants at a stark disadvantage as they try to enter, negotiate, and advance in this industry.

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A New Look for Migration Update

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) has revamped its weekly Migration Update newsletter! We invite you to check out our new look and format and subscribe to future updates.

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Estimates of TPS-eligible Populations from Cameroon and Sudan by State and Year of Arrival

The US Department of Homeland Security recently announced the designation of Cameroon and re-designation of Sudan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). CMS estimates indicate that there are at least 15,700 Cameroonian nationals in the United States who are eligible for TPS, and there are 6,800 Sudanese nationals in the United States that would be eligible for the re-designation of Sudan for TPS.

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A Demographic Profile of Undocumented Immigrant Women and Estimates of Those Potentially Eligible for Permanent Residence under Pending Bills

Undocumented immigrant women are an immigrant group whose contributions to the economy, culture, and social life in the communities in which they live often go unrecognized. According to CMS estimates, there are 4,806,000 undocumented female immigrants living in the United States. Women and girls make up 46 percent of the total US undocumented population.[1] The vast majority (45 percent) come from Mexico, followed by El Salvador (7 percent), India (6 percent), Guatemala (5 percent), Honduras (5 percent), China (4 percent), Venezuela (2 percent), Philippines (2 percent), Dominican Republic (2 percent), and Brazil (2 percent). Female undocumented immigrants from China, the Philippines, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic outnumber male undocumented immigrants from these countries (Table 1). However, among undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, the female population makes up a relatively small proportion (39 percent) of the total population.

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Child Maltreatment & Child Migration: Abuse Disclosures by Central American and Mexican Unaccompanied Migrant Children

While gang violence, community violence, and domestic violence have been recognized as contributing factors to Central American migration, less is known about the intersection between child maltreatment and migration. This article uses secondary data from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees interviews with unaccompanied minors from Central America and Mexico to examine child maltreatment. It provides information on the abused children, their abusers, and the questions that led to their disclosure of maltreatment. It finds that girls reported maltreatment at higher rates than boys; only girls in this sample reported sexual abuse and intimate partner violence; and boys experienced physical abuse more than any other form of maltreatment. Overall, girls experienced all forms of abuse at higher rates than boys. Fewer than half of this sample described maltreatment as an explicit reason for migration, even those who viewed it as a type of suffering, harm, or danger. In addition, some disclosures suggest that childhood transitions, such as in housing, schooling, or work status, warrant further inquiry as a potential consequence of or contributor to maltreatment.

The article recommends that professionals engaged with migrant children in social services, legal services, or migration protection and status adjudications should inquire about maltreatment, recognizing that children may reveal abuse in complex and indirect ways. Protection risks within the home or family environment may provide the grounds for US legal immigration protections, such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or asylum. Practitioners working with unaccompanied migrant children should use varied approaches to inquire about home country maltreatment experiences. Maltreatment may be part of the context of child migration, whether or not it is explicitly mentioned by children as a reason for migration.

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Legalization Through Registry: The Benefits of a “Rolling Registry” Program

With one statutory change, Congress could extend legal status to millions of undocumented residents through an existing legalization program known as the “registry.” In past decades, the program legalized thousands of long-term undocumented residents, but virtually no undocumented residents today would qualify unless Congress revises the legislation. If updated, the program could extend legal status to millions.

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